Uni Blasts Criticism
The University of Otago has been called out for “killing Castle Street”, and has responded with a water-blaster.
A presumably scarfie protester painted the message “You can kill Castle Street, but you can’t kill culture” on the walls of Leith below the Clocktower building during the exam period last month.
On Tuesday June 19 the University quickly acted to remove the message from its prominent location. Graeme Mackie, a University of Otago property services worker, was lowered to the site in the bucket of a large crane and dispatched the lettering via a water-blaster. Critic’s investigations revealed that the cost of hiring such a crane would be around $1450 for a day of graffiti-blasting fun. The University failed to respond to Critic’s request to confirm this figure by the time we went to print last Thursday.
OUSA President Logan Edgar advised frustrated students to express their opinions constructively through appropriate channels such as OUSA or Vice-Chancellor Harlene Hayne. “The words are pretty bang on,” Edgar told Critic, “but I don’t think the avenue they took for saying them is so bang on.”
Edgar cited the liquor ban as an example of attempts to “kill” Scarfie culture. “I don’t think it’s the Uni killing it, but the campus is always a good place to get across anything you want aired.”
Edgar listed a number of other ways for students to address their concerns about Scarfie culture that do not involve the risk from being forcibly removed from it by the University’s Disciplinary Board. “The VC is a very reasonable person so rock in there, write opinion pieces to the ODT, write a letter to Critic, talk to OUSA, start a guerrilla marketing campaign that isn’t permanent.”
The “very reasonable VC” is currently jetsetting overseas so was unable to answer Critic’s queries on whether either Castle Street or Scarfie culture are indeed being killed.
Photo Courtesy Otago Daily Times / Otago Images